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Some people believe that it’s a bit tasteless to talk about money and costs when it comes to such a sensitive subject as death and bereavement.

They may also be reluctant to ask about costs, which can lead to uneasiness, disappointment and even worry at what is already a very stressful time.

Our attitude is a simple one: total openness and a commitment to provide reassurance and confidence to eliminate additional stress.

No two funerals are exactly alike, so no two cost the same. Based on what you tell us, we will tell you in detail all of the likely costs that will need to be met, and work with you to provide the ceremony that you want and can afford.

If all else fails, the law has a provision under the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984, to ensure all people that die are buried or cremated.

The responsibility for this lies with the local council authority where the person has died. Often the health authority will assume this obligation if the person dies in hospital. Typically the council will have a contract arrangement with a local funeral director to arrange a very simple burial or cremation. Although a service will usually be given, to which mourners may attend, there is little interaction with the mourners in respect of the arrangements. The service will usually be first thing in the morning. The council will only take on this obligation when there is no other way of the funeral being paid for.

Interestingly, under this Act, the family may insist upon burial rather than cremation against the council's wish but may not insist upon cremation rather than burial.

A Grant of Probate is given to Executors to administer an Estate when the deceased has left a Will.

When the deceased has not left a Will, the equivalent to the above, known as Letters of Administration, is granted to the Personal Representatives, who may well be the nearest relatives.

The above will always be required to administer an Estate where one or more of the following is relevant:-

  • The Estate includes share certificates
  • There is a freehold or leasehold property in the deceased's name
  • There is a large sum of money in a Bank Account (the amount will vary from one institution to another but will be measured in many thousands; you will need to contact your bank to enquire as to their threshold)

Often, the deceased's Estate will be small and fluid in nature. In such cases, the Estate may be administered by producing Certified Copies of the Death Register at the bank(s) concerned. These certificates are obtained from the Register Office when registering the death.

Both Probate and Letters of Administration are dealt with by the Probate Office and the contact details may be found on our 'Links' page. If there are Executors, it is there prerogative to deal with the application for a Grant of Probate but there is no obligation upon them to do so; they may, if they wish, renounce their Executorship.

The Probate system is designed to enable members of the public to administer an Estate themselves however, it can be complicated and family/Executors often employ the services of a solicitor to assist with this. Most solicitors will offer an initial interview for a relatively small fee.

At Tapper Funeral Service we are not Probate Solicitors but we do have some experience in helping families get the process underway. We can also provide a list of local solicitors that specialise in Probate work for further information please see our partner information section.

Please ask should you require further assistance.

The deceased may have left an Estate with various items of property. This may be a house, a vehicle, furniture of general items.

Between your family and the Executors it may be that you can easily deal with these matters but sometimes families just want to deal with the Estate as quickly as possible. Should you require assistance we have contacts who can offer help with house clearance or who will make you an offer for property or any other asset for an immediate 'no fuss' sale.

Please let us know if this may be of assistance.

The state offers a specific benefit towards the cost of a funeral, for those people that it deems most need it. The qualification is strict but a successful application can gain in excess of £1,000 as a one-off payment towards the funeral. This is not repayable unless the deceased is later found to have left an Estate.

In brief, to qualify, the deceased must leave inadequate Estate to pay for the funeral. If this is the case then just as importantly, the proper Applicant (usually the next of kin) must be on a qualifying supplementary benefit from the State. Should the deceased and next of kin be spouses/partners then the marital home is excluded from the equation.

Bereavement payment is also available for those whose husband, wife or civil partner has died and paid enough national insurance contribution.

For the latest information about bereavement payments, help with funeral expenses from the Social Fund and how to make a claim, please visit the Direct Gov website.